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Home Fix It Show

Saturdays, 9am-12pm

Dave Baker

Home Fix It Show with Dave Baker

Resident household repair and home improvement expert, Dave Baker provides tips and advice on planning, building and fixing up around the house.   He rounds out his "toolbox of knowledge" by inviting home repair experts to answer any and all home improvement questions. Listen to Dave Baker Saturday's at 9am - Noon on News 95.5 AM750 WSB. 

For more information on Dave's appearances, guests, and more, visit his website: Thehomefixitpage.com, and be sure to check out his blog!
Grab your hammer and join the show! If you want to get the inside scoop on what's new in home improvement or if you're a 'do-it-yourselfer', you'll be listening to the Home Fix-It Show Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

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Home-Fix-It radio host Dave Baker offers seasonal advice for maintaining and upgrading the value of your home. Get tips ranging from “quick fixes around the house” to advice about hiring outside contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.

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Recent Posts

  • Q – It’s 95 outside, and our air conditioner has just quit. Just stopped. I called our hvac company and they said it would be 2 days before they could get to us. Any ideas in the meantime? Sweaty in Dunwoody  A – If your air conditioner has quit blowing air, and it is hot, hot, hot outside, and your air conditioning company tells you it will be 2 days before they can come out and repair it, and you are getting mad because, well, just because – try this… Check your thermostat. That’s right, your thermostat. Unless you still have one of those round thermostats that was off-limits to the hands of kids everywhere when they were growing up because you “might upset the delicate balance of cool air and dad being cheap”, your thermostat could hold the key. New thermostats (and by ‘new’ I am referring to thermostats that have digital readouts on them) are powered by batteries. When the batteries die, as batteries are wont to do, the thermostat shuts down everything that runs through it. Like your air conditioner. The cure: carefully take the cover off the thermostat, pop the old batteries out (usually 3 or 4 AA’s), insert new ones, and reattach the cover and ta-daaa – your air conditioner just might magically start working again. Good work. However, if it is not the batteries in your thermostat you will still need a visit from your service tech. And, by the way, change your furnace filter while you are poking around your unit. FYI – this could be the same reason your furnace may shut off on the coldest night of the winter. The cure is the same. BONUS TIP – while you are checking batteries, don’t forget the batteries in your smoke detectors, your C-O detectors, anything that is hooked up through your smart phone i.e. door locks, garage door signal receptors, lights, and the thingy that tells you if your plumbing is leaking. And as long as we are talking batteries change the ones in your remote garage door openers you carry in your cars, the ones in the key-chain thing that unlocks your car doors, your battery powered portable screw drivers, the 5 remote controls for your tv/dvr/dvd/vhs/stereo, and the ugly clock on the bookcase in your den that was a gift from somebody – you can’t remember who – but you won’t get rid of it because, because, well because you just don’t want to face the wrath of the wife. Where were we? Oh yes – good luck with your a/c unit. I hope it was just the batteries.
  • Q – 4 years ago I had the best gutter covers installed on my gutters to keep the gunk out. Now my gutters are over-flowing.  Do I need new gutters?  Mary Ellen – Decatur  A – I can’t speak to whether you do or don’t need new gutters without first seeing your current gutters, but I can tell you this: Gutters, even those with gutter covers, still need to be cleaned. Whoops – watch your language there... I am sorry but it is true. Over time (could be 5-6 months, could be a couple of years) gutters will accumulate gunk, shingle debris, dust and dirt that blow around, the odd leaf and pine needle, they will all find their way into your gutter where they will decay and create a layer of grossness which will eventually block your gutter from doing its job correctly. Can’t help it that is the way it works. I just spent a morning cleaning out a part of one of my gutter covered gutters and it was disgusting. Why do you need to clean it? Good question. Your gutters are the main line of defense against water getting to your foundation which can lead to foundation erosion and/or water in your basement or crawlspace. Good clean gutters are the vital cog in getting the water to the downspouts and away from your house. Don’t believe me, go out and look at your roof line. Imagine no gutters and water running right off the edge. Where does it hit the ground? Correct, right next to your foundation. And a clean, proper functioning gutter now, now that we have had 9,436 inches of rain the past 8 days, is important. Now here is the hard part – who do you get to do the work… Well – you can do it if you don’t mind going up and down a ladder about 50 times, trying to manipulate your gutter covers so you can reach into the gutter and scrape yuck out with your free hand. If you have more than a one story house this is probably not your best solution but I will tell you this – it is difficult to find a good gutter cleaner. Seriously. (Also see previous article about ladders.) You need to find a legitimate guy (or company) that has up to date insurance and workman’s comp. Often times you can find a roofer to do this, but this is more of a long shot than a sure shot. Beware hiring the guys who advertise on a 7x11 cardboard cut-out nailed to a telephone pole (see previous paragraph). I would start with a real handyman company or a good roofer and see if they do that work or can give you a referral. Good luck. Be safe. Clean under your finger nails when you finish.
  • Q – I was down looking at my a/c unit and I noticed a huge block of ice on it. What is up with that? Does my system have too much Freon? Do I need a new one? Carmen in Marietta  A – Actually, this one sounds like a trick question, but I like trick questions… There are a couple of reasons why your a/c system has frozen over. One of them is, drum roll please, you don't have enough Freon in your system. (Technically Freon is the refrigerant R22 which people commonly call Freon. More on that later – keep reading)  That is correct - a result of not having enough Freon in your system can be your system freezing over. Sounds completely the opposite of what you may think, but it is true. In a perfect world, there would never be too much or too little Freon in your system. Your system would be installed, the correct amount of Freon would be charged into the system, and you would be good to go until the system went kaput. If you were to have developed a leak in your Freon line, then each year when you have your a/c inspected you would be told that you were low on Freon and more would be added to your system. There is no reason to add Freon to a system other than it is leaking out. Re-read that - if you are having Freon replaced into your system you have a leak. Freon does not just go away over time. Note - Freon leaks sometimes can be very difficult (read that very expensive) to fix mainly because they can be very difficult to find. Often there isn't a joint in the line where the Freon is just leaking out and the hvac guy puts in a new joint and all is well. A more important note – Freon, as you know it, or R22 is going away. In fact units made since 2010 don’t contain Freon (R22) at all. Refrigerant 410A, which is environmentally safe is the new refrigerant used in air conditioning. If you have a system older than 2010, and it uses R22 (Freon) you will probably soon need a new system. Freon, or R22 is no longer made. So when your hvac company’s supply runs out, it’s gone. Done. Over. Finished. Through. Oh yeah – your iceberg. The other most common reason for the ice is air-flow. If you aren't getting proper air-flow through your system (i.e. is your filter is clogged) then freezing can occur. Easy fix there - change your filter. There you have it. Your best course of action would be to have your a/c system inspected by a professional - (it sounds like it wasn't this year at least) and go from there. Could be an easy fix, could be a leak. Good to get it fixed though, either way.
  • We all know that a call to your favorite pest control company can net you some quality cures to the fire ants that are taking up residence in your yard.  Here are 5 Things that my listeners swear kill fire ants for them without calling the pros… - Sprinkle grits around the mound. The ants will eat them, the grit will expand, and the ant will die. The professionals say this is mostly bogus. No word on whether cheese grits are more effective… - Scoop into a fire ant mound and place that on another fire ant mound. The thinking is that the fire ants will wage war on each other and exterminate themselves. Experts say this is bogus. In fact, the odds that you are scooping the same mound on top of each other is great. - Hot water. Pour hot water on mound. This either drowns or scalds them, but either one is good by me. The pros say this actually works. As does using boric acid like you would find in the old 20-Mule Team Borax. - Pour gasoline on the mound. For me this makes more sense than hot water, especially if you ignite it after you pour. Warning, duh, this is not too safe, not to mention bad for your yard. The professionals agree that it is not the brightest move to make and encourage you not to do it. See 'hot water'. - Lawn mower. My favorite. Ok, be honest here – who hasn’t taken pride in mowing a fire ant bed? Again, the pros say while it is fun, it is not the most effective way to kill the colony, not to mention the flying fire ants you have now created. If you have a home remedy or a favorite way to rid your yard of fire ants I would be eager to hear it. Send it to me at TheHomeFixItPage@gmail.com
  • Now that we are in June and school is out and summer starts and reading the old honey-do list can have chores that start with the word ‘paint’ or contain the word ‘gutters’ or ‘trim’ or heaven forbid use all 3 words in the same chore, I thought we could take a second and look at life’s forgotten...

News

  • Showers and storms are moving across parts of metro Atlanta right now.  A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Stephens, Habersham, Rabun and Oconee counties until 4:45 p.m. Severe Weather Team 2 is tracking the timing of rain in your neighborhood, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. Storms will increase across north Georgia later Saturday morning and into the afternoon.  A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for northeast Georgia until 4 p.m. Saturday. SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 4pm for northwest Georgia as a cluster of strong storms moves in out of Alabama. We'll be watching it closely through the afternoon. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/SoKhpozYro — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) June 23, 2018 The main risks are heavy rain, frequent lightning, and strong 40 to 60 mph wind gusts, Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said. Showers and storms will be widespread today across north GA -- here's hoping we can find some windows to get the game in today @SunTrustPark! First place @Braves and @Orioles at 4:10pm. #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/TKtDp3hYBC — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) June 23, 2018 [DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's Weather App for alerts on severe weather] “After storms move through today, we’ll get into a drier weather pattern as a ridge of high pressure builds aloft,” Monahan said. “That will shift the greatest chance of storms tomorrow toward the north Georgia mountains.”  This pattern will continue into Wednesday, with a 20 to 30 percent chance of storms each day.  With drier weather moving in, temperatures will push into the low to mid 90s. What can you get only by watching Channel 2 Action News?  1. Updated hour-by-hour cloud and rain forecast showing the timeline of evening showers and storms and the preferred location for storms Sunday into early this week. 2. Updated severe weather outlook for Saturday evening. 3. A specific breakdown of where the highest chance of rain is Sunday.    Powerful storms downed trees and power lines across the Atlanta metro Friday evening and more are possible throughout the weekend.  One of the giant trees in Colette Inomata’s East Cobb backyard came crashing to the ground during the storms.  “I jumped up, looked in my backyard and the trees were sideways, and I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life,” Inomata told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon .  Inomata and her son told Wilfon they were inside their home when the storm blew through.  “All of a sudden the sound just shifted dramatically, and I heard this whish, whish sound or something.  I don’t know what it was,” Inomata said.  That’s when she said they headed for a downstairs closet.  “I’m more of the panicker, so I was screaming for them to come downstairs and take cover immediately. I think they sensed from my voice tone that something was really wrong,” Inomata told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: SWAT team called to home after man shoots mother, police say Georgia teachers can get free school supplies from Kroger 4 Wendy's employees accused of dealing meth at restaurant Then the family noticed the large tree laying across their backyard. “I was really shook up. You keep thinking of the what ifs and what it could have been,” Inomata said. “I’m grateful. Feeling blessed that it wasn’t the house or the kids or anything like that.” The storms weakened throughout the evening Friday as they moved east out of Georgia. The threat of severe weather will pick back up with the heating of the day on Saturday. “As we head into the afternoon there are better rain chances,” said Severe Weather Team 2’s Brad Nitz.  Nitz said another round of possible severe storms will move into north Georgia after 6 p.m. Saturday.  “These storms could have heavy rain, gusty wind, lightning and even some small hail,” Nitz said.  Highs Saturday will reach the high 80s, close to 90 throughout the metro.  Things will heat up a bit Sunday, with temperatures in the low 90s. Rain chances are expected to increase by midweek.   A Minute-by-Minute look at the storms: 10 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Floyd and Bartow counties until 10:30 p.m. 7:02 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Spalding, Meriwether, Fayette, Pike, Heard, Coweta and Lamar counties until 7:30 p.m. 6:37 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Heard and Coweta counties until 7p.m. 6:36 p.m.: Storms have downed a number of trees across Milton Weather/Traffic Alert: Evening storms have downed a number of trees across #MiltonGa. 14660 Freemanville Road completely blocked. Hope to have road reopened in 2-2.5 hrs. Drivers navigate carefully--trees & road crews in the roadway. Please RT.— City of Milton (@cityofmiltonga) June 22, 2018 6:16 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Meriwether, Troup and Coweta counties until 7 p.m. New severe thunderstorm warning until 7pm for this storm moving into LaGrange with 60+ mph gusts possible. pic.twitter.com/IHxvo9E5gg — Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) June 22, 2018 6:13 p.m.: Georgia Power is reporting about 4,100 customers are currently without power across metro: Per @GeorgiaPower 4,100 customers are in the dark in the Metro due to storms. #StormWatchOn2 — Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) June 22, 2018 6:10 p.m. A viewer sent in a picture of a tree down across the road along Whitlock Avenue in Marietta: We just got in this photo of a tree down on Whitlock Ave. in Marietta. We're tracking the storms NOW on Channel 2: https://t.co/WRRkDYmnJn pic.twitter.com/2f29JqAdS9 — WSB-TV (@wsbtv) June 22, 2018 6:06 p.m. Channel 2's Lauren Pozen just tweeted this video of heavy rain in Buckhead Total downpour right now in Buckhead. Wind,rain and thunder. Low visibility. Rain coming down in sheets. #StormWatchOn2 pic.twitter.com/6uuPx059An — Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) June 22, 2018 6:04 p.m. a Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for DeKalb, Douglas, Clayton and Fulton counties until 6:45 p.m. 6:01 p.m.: The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office is warning about fallen trees and powerlines: ***WEATHER/TRAFFIC ALERT*** FCSO has trees and power lines down on the following roadways in southwest Forsyth. Valley Stream Drive Post Road at Derby Trail is CLOSED Majors Road near Castleberry Road Use extreme caution while driving.— ForsythCountySO (@ForsythCountySO) June 22, 2018 5:58 p.m.: Channel 2's Richard Elliot is reporting that a tree has fallen across Interstate 20.  Ugh. Tree down on I-20WB about two miles west of Lee Rd. It's affecting traffic all the way back past Thornton Rd. pic.twitter.com/zunLK8D8Al — Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) June 22, 2018
  • Two sinkholes have opened on Venture Drive near Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, a county spokesman said. The road is closed between Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road, a block from the mall’s entrance. The holes, which closed the road right in front of a Sam’s Club, are related to privately owned pipes which were not draining properly, according to spokesman Joe Sorenson. The road is also privately owned. READ | Study: Here’s how much you have to make to afford to live in Gwinnett One of the sinkholes could be seen just beyond caution tape. It was wider and longer than a car and at least five feet deep. The orange helmet of a construction worker peeked out from the hole at the edge of the cratered pavement. County workers from the water, transportation and police departments have responded to the sinkholes and are monitoring the situation, Sorenson said. The county is working to remedy the situation and re-open the road as soon as it is safe. The sinkholes do not block access to the mall, which is on the other side of Pleasant Hill Drive. Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Stay up to the minute with breaking news on Channel 2 Action News This Morning
  • Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them. A fact sheet on 'zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification' released Saturday night by the Department of Health and Human Services also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries. As part of the effort, HHS says Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. A parent or guardian trying to determine if a child is in the custody of HHS should contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 1-800-203-7001, or via email information@ORRNCC.com. Information will be collected and sent to HHS funded facility where minor is located. HHS doesn't state how long it might take to reunite families. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation. How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by HHS and adults detained through ICE. Children have been sent to shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found. The HHS fact sheet states that ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process; designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody; worked closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and coordinated with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents' departure from the U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the practice of separating parents and their children to stop. As of last Wednesday, 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, HHS said. ___ Online: HHS zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification fact sheet: http://apne.ws/qjYtmJR ___ Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center: Htto://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/orr-national-call-center
  • A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zsa Zsa won the title Saturday night at the Sonoma-Marin Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma. The dog's owner Megan Brainard of Anoka, Minnesota, will receive $1,500 for Zsa Zsa's win. Brainard found Zsa Zsa on a pet-finding site, according to the contest bio. Dogs in the annual competition flaunt their imperfections - some have hairless bodies, others have lolling tongues. The dogs and their handlers walk down a red carpet. The dogs are evaluated by a panel of judges. The contestants included a blackhead-covered Chinese Crested-Dachshund mutt, a bulldog mix with excess wrinkly skin and a Pekingese named Wild Thang. Last year's winner was a 125-pound (57-kilogram) gentle giant named Martha — a Neopolitan Mastiff with gas and a droopy face. The contest is in its 30th year. It is usually held on Friday nights, but organizers moved the competition to Saturday in an effort to draw a bigger audience.
  • A two-year old trapped under a massive pile of rocks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was released from the hospital Saturday, thanks to a police officer with a unique talent. >> Read more trending news  It turned out the responding Portsmouth officer, T.J. Potter, had previous experience as a professional stone mason and specialized in historical foundation repair. Potter's experience helped him accurately assess the danger the child was in and properly remove the slabs from on top of the child. '[It was] a five man stone or a five man block which indicated that you would need four to five people to life it and set it on a wall, and we have done stones like that and built with stones like that, so I knew we could lift it by hand,' Potter said. 'I think that was the main concern – can we lift it off the boy?' Authorities responded to 325 Little Harbor Road after a distress call about a 2-year-old trapped under a pile of rocks.  >> Trending: Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker’s son accused of sexually assaulting woman on JetBlue flight When officers arrived, they found the boy pinned between large slabs of stone. The boy had been playing on top one of the stone slabs with his grandfather when the slab he was standing on dislodged. The child fell forward and was trapped by the slab, which came to rest on his head. The stone slabs are being used to build a foundation for a seawall and each slab is estimated to weigh several hundred pounds. The situation was highly delicate, police said, because one of the stone slabs was resting on the child's head, and could have given way at any moment, putting the child at risk of sustaining the full weight of the stone on his head. After a coordinated effort by police and firefighters, rescuers freed the boy in about nine minutes. The child's parents were able to keep him calm as first responders worked their way around the stone slabs and rescued him. >> Trending: 4 children killed in violent police standoff laid to rest in Florida The child was first given emergency medical treatment at the scene then transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
  • The Latest on the annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Northern California (all times local): 8:23 p.m. A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zsa Zsa won the title Saturday in the competition where dogs with hairless bodies and lolling tongues flaunt their imperfections. The dogs walk down a red carpet and are evaluated by a panel of judges. The winner takes home $1,500. Zsa Zsa's owner is Megan Brainard of Anoka, Minnesota. The event was held at the Sonoma-Marin Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma. Last year's winner was a 125-pound (57-kilogram) gentle giant named Martha — a Neopolitan Mastiff with gas and a droopy face. ___ 2:31 p.m. Dogs with hairless bodies and lolling tongues will flaunt their imperfections as they compete to win the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area. The event is taking place Saturday this year at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, a departure from previous years when it was held on Friday. Organizers say they wanted more people to attend. This year's dogs include a blackhead-covered Chinese Crested-Dachshund mutt and a bulldog mix with excess wrinkly skin. The dogs walk down a red carpet and are evaluated by a panel of judges. The winner takes home $1,500. Last year's winner was a 125-pound (57-kilogram) gentle giant named Martha — a Neopolitan Mastiff with gas and a droopy face.